As soon as you turn through the gates of the Bal Samand Lake Palace, you have the feeling of entering a magical world. Only eight km from the center of Jodhpur is this exquisite palace hotel, set on the edge of one of India’s oldest man-made lake and within 60 acres of gorgeous grounds populated by flowering trees, strutting peacocks, electric green parrots and families of swinging monkeys. Savor a few days of calm at this verdant oasis while touring the enchanting sites of this stunning part of Rajasthan.
Fascinating Historic Legacy
The red sandstone lakefront palace was commissioned by Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur in the 17th century, at the height of Rathore rule of the area during the Mughal Empire. The elaborate palace was constructed right on the edge of the 12th century lake (an engineering feat in itself!). The location palatial residence was not only chosen due to its picturesque setting, but also its strategically position on the edge of the then capital of the region, Mandore, the remains of which are a short drive away and can be visited as part of your stay at the hotel – that is, if you can tear yourself away from the hotel’s sublime complex.
Enchanting Gardens & Sublime Pool
The grounds are simply breathtaking and incredibly tranquil, providing a quiet break from the horns, racing Tuk Tuks and crowds of India. The gardens are crisscrossed with walking paths along which you are likely to encounter some of the palace’s 60+ peacocks, the animal of honor at the palace which even adorn the monumental stair which leads up to the lakeside palace. In the late afternoon, you’ll also likely to cross paths with families of monkeys cooling down in the sprinklers or enjoying a stolen banana while perched on a stone walls (though be warned to keep your distance!). You too can cool down – in the hotel’s lovely pool, tucked into a discreet part of the gardens and surrounded by a shaded arcade.
Spacious & Attractive Accommodation
The guest rooms are divided amongst two buildings: the historic palace and the restored 19th-century garden wing. For a divine stay, splurge on one of the opulent palace suites. The building itself is spectacular, decked out in pristine, white marble, vintage photos and paintings and beautiful Rajasthani antiques. There are elegant sitting and dining areas at the exclusive use of the palace guests. The spacious suites can include a separate sitting room, a vast bathroom with huge Jacuzzi tubs and large kingsized beds. The vast, multi-room Maharani suite is the crème de la crème of the palace and features breathtaking views of the lake.
Found near conveniently near reception and the restaurants, the Garden Room Wing has 26 large, comfortable rooms. Each room is uniquely decorated with historic photographs, drawings and prints and comes complete with kingsized beds nice sitting areas and bathrooms with ample rain showers and luxurious toiletries. In addition, you can relax outdoors in your own shaded terrace at the front or sunny private courtyards at the back.
Excellent Rajasthani Fine Dining
Another highlight of the hotel is its excellent restaurants, which are also open to non-guests and popular with stylish locals. There is spacious seating in the exterior garden restaurant, where guests can enjoy high quality barbecue dishes, other Indian dishes and nightly musical entertainment. The classy interior Garden Wing restaurant serves refined Rajasthani and Indian cuisine. This is where their not-to-be missed breakfast is served in the mornings, an abundance of International and Indian favorites from freshly made dosas and lassis to omelettes just as you like them.
The standard rate for a Garden Rooms is INR 7,400 and Palace suites start from INR 25,000. They offer a number of packages, perfect for a romantic getaway, which can include horse-drawn carriage rides, guided tours of Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort and an extra special exclusive tour of the Fort led by its curator. Learn more about the hotel and these packages here.
The hotel is part of Jodhana Heritage Resorts group which also has other beautiful historic hotels in Nagaur, Ranakpur, Sardar Samand, Mount Abu & Royal Tents. View their full portfolio at this link.
I was a guest of the Bal Samand Palace Hotel, however all of the opinions expressed above are entirely my own. A special thank you to Restaurant Manager Jitendra Shekhawat for his excellent tour and special care of us during our stay.